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American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company Performs at the Ailey Citigroup Theater
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American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company Performs at the Ailey Citigroup Theater

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American Ballet Theatre
Studio Company

Kate Lydon, Studio Company Artistic Director
Sascha Radetsky, Studio Company Ballet Master
Claire Florian, Studio Company Manager

The Ailey Citigroup Theater
The Joan Weill Center for Dance
(Ailey Studios Web Page)

Dancers: Leah Baylin, Jacob Clerico, Mihai Costache
Jarod Curley, Michael de la Nuez, Léa Fleytoux, Melvin Lawovi
Abbey Marrison, Duncan McIlwayne, Chloe Misseldine
Grace Anne Pierce, Ingrid Thoms

Brian Sciarra, Production Manager
Jenna Woods, Stage Manager
Mary Jo Zeisel, ABT Director, Education & Training

Press: Susie Morgan Taylor

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 17, 2018

Read More ABT Reviews.

“Le Jeune” (2017):
Choreography by Lauren Lovette, Music by Eric Whitacre (“Equus”), Performed by Eric Whitacre, London Symphony Orchestra, Costume Concept by Lauren Lovette, Performed by an ensemble of ten Company dancers. With leaping and flying motifs, representative of Lauren Lovette’s blooming choreographies, the ABT Studio Company was resplendent. Ten members of this second company of American Ballet Theatre, which is a renowned source of new artists, not only for ABT, but also for impressive international ballet companies, dove into Ms. Lovette’s 2017 choreography with fervor. Ms. Lovette has been favorably reviewed for some years as a Principal dancer with New York City Ballet, where she received her early choreographic experience. In Le Jeune, music by Eric Whitacre, the ABT Studio Company dancers, in pink or black leotards and tights, were toned, upbeat, buoyant, and poised. Le Jeune is a sophisticated, seamless, and sensitive ballet, with lovely, classical lines. In addition to Ms. Lovette’s (a rising, go-to choreographer) entrancing choreography, I focused on this equally impressive dance ensemble. The senior Company, with its fall and spring New York seasons at Lincoln Center, is filled with dance maestros, and it was enthralling to see this junior company so highly prepared to enter the ranks of the virtuosic ballet pros. Léa Fleytoux and Jarod Curley especially caught my eye.

“William Tell” Pas de Deux (1873): Choreography by August Bournonville, Staged by Ask la Cour, Music by Gioacchino Rossini, Costumes Courtesy of ABT, Performed by an ensemble of six Company dancers. For the Pas De Deux of “William Tell”, 1873, (and why have we not seen this full Bournonville ballet in New York, ever?), the ballet excerpt was divided into Couple I, Leah Baylin and Duncan McIlwayne, Female Solo, Chloe Misseldine, Male Solo, Melvin Lawovi, and Couple II, Mihai Costache and Grace Ann Pierce. In peasant costumes, evocative of Giselle, Act I, and La Fille mal gardée, and set here to Rossini’s musical score, staged by Ask la Cour, a lauded Principal with City Ballet, these youthful dancers were endearing and energized in their flawless, individual and partnered performances. They each glowed with wonder and enthusiasm in the spotlight. To elaborate on the first editorial comment, in special events, such as this, the ballet community is teased with snippets of rare ballets, but we have no experience of the full production. It would be wonderful, one season, to have major companies mount the full-length versions of those gorgeous old ballets we have only glimpsed for minutes.

”Carmen” (2018): Choreography by Marco Pelle, Music: Selections from “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46” by Edvard Grieg, “Thais Méditation” by Jules Massenet, “Défilé 1962” by Ibrahim Maalouf, Costume Concept by Marco Pelle, Selected costumes courtesy of ABT, performed by an ensemble of four Company dancers. This ballet, a high point of the evening, but not by much, as the entire series of performances was so ebullient and vibrant, choreographed by Marco Pelle, combined passages of scores by Bizet, Grieg, Massenet, and Maalouf. The Spanish ballet motif was impressively portrayed by Léa Fleytoux as the lead, Carmen, Jacob Clerico as Don Jose, Jarod Curley as Escamillo, and Ingrid Thoms as Micaela. Ms. Fleytoux will be a rising star, with her already heated performance as Carmen, in a silky black tutu and attitude beyond her years. Each dancer in this quartet was uniquely talented and skilled in this new choreography. Ms. Fleytoux riveted the eye with dramatization and intensity of dance persona. Mr. Curley has grandeur and glamor in his balletic persona and astounding maturity. Mr. Clerico and Ms. Thoms both danced with stunning sensuality and stage presence.

”Untitled” (2018): Choreography by Liam Scarlett, Music by Philip Glass (“Piano Concerto No. 2”), Costumes courtesy of ABT, Performed by an ensemble of eleven Company dancers. Liam Scarlett’s new ballet, Untitled, was scored to Philip Glass’ “Piano Concerto No. 2”. The eleven dancers (full Company minus Chloe Misseldine, who dances tomorrow night) were costumed in white leotards and tights (men) and white tutus and tights (women), with blue lighting heavily spotlighted for effects. In fact, the Ailey Center’s exceptional lighting system enhanced the entire production, although seating can be difficult to navigate, and wobbly during the show. Liam Scarlett, Artist in Residence at The Royal Ballet, created a fascinating new work for this eager young ensemble, with effusive lifts and rapid, swirling twists and turns en air and against partnered the male partner’s torso. I am a longtime fan of Mr. Scarlett’s choreographies, and this ballet was no exception for my admiration.

Kudos to American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company.

Scene from Lauren Lovette’s "Le Jeune"
Courtesy of Erin Baiano.

Léa Fleytoux and Jacob Clerico
in Marco Pelle’s "Carmen"
Courtesy of Erin Baiano.

Mihai Costache, Duncan McIlwaine,
Jarod Curley, Abbey Marrison
in Liam Scarlett’s "Untitled"
Courtesy of Erin Baiano

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at